Shivani Mehra (name changed) couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling life. A loving husband, two amazing kids, a successful job as a financial consultant, supportive family and friends, she had everything and much more. All that changed shortly after her 40th birthday, when she noticed some of the early signs of an impending storm. A battery of tests later she was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer and the most common type of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Shivani’s oncologist Dr. Verma (name changed) quickly realized that time was not a luxury for her and ordered molecular and immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests to determine course of treatment. Since EGFR gene mutation by RT-PCR method and ALK and ROS-1 expression by IHC test turned out to be negative, he ruled out targeted therapy and decided on conventional chemotherapy. Unfortunately, her conditioned kept worsening as her tumor progressed. The Mehra family eventually realized that their perfect life was never going to be the same and hoped for a miracle.
Dr. Verma decided to give another shot at targeted therapy and sent her biopsy tissue to MedGenome Labs Ltd for a comprehensive tumor gene panel test. This next generation sequencing based test that allows screening of variations across 175 genes associated with response or resistance to specific targeted therapies in various types of cancer, revealed a rare neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK3) gene fusion. NTRK gene fusions are known as oncogenic drivers and treatment of patients carrying NTRK gene fusion mutations is achieved by first generation tyrosine receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitors which are associated with high response rate. Dr. Verma facilitated the procurement of the targeted drug. Shivani’s family finally breathed a sigh of relief as she responded well to the drug and is now slowly but steadily progressing towards recovery.
With the advancement in molecular medicine, understanding of pathology of life-threatening diseases has expanded and a combination of information available through research and technology has revolutionized genomics-driven therapeutic approaches in various diseases including cancers.
MedGenome Labs Ltd offers a wide range of molecular tests that help to determine genomic profile-based targeted therapy and helps to assess prognosis and treatment to patients at baseline, progression or recurrence.
Shivani doesn’t dread the inevitable anymore, the days of uncertainty have been overcome. She is thankful to her doctor for his guidance and perseverance, to the molecular test that changed the course of action and to the access to life saving medicine, all of which turned out to be game-changers for her.
Every cancer survivor has a story to narrate – a story of pain, precariousness, panic and of empathy, solidarity, resolve, hope and gratitude. And every survivor’s story restores the faith that there is light at the end of dark tunnel.